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Venezuela extends coronavirus quarantine for another 30 days

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced a 30-day extension of the ongoing quarantine nationwide to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Press TV, Maduro said his decision was based on the country’s constitution which grants him authority to order citizens to stay home to protect them from getting infected with the deadly virus.

The lockdown will run through May 13 but can be renewed if necessary. The Venezuelan leader initially declared a state of alarm on March 13 but decided to extend it after one month in a bid to minimize risks of wider contagion. Socialist officials justify Maduro’s move.

Under quarantine, only people who provide transportation, health services, and deliveries of food and medicine are allowed to continue working, but as gasoline sales are restricted in the country, even doctors and food transporters report having trouble commuting.

The Venezuelan government is now forced to cope with the economic impact of extending the lockdown. Millions of workers are staying home, and so far it is uncertain how they will make ends meet.